Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa
The scenic town of Barberton is nestled at the foot of some of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. Barberton offers the traveller an opportunity to travel back to the dawn of time more than 3.500 million years ago! The geological and biological base of the Barberton Mountainland is unique on the planet and the scenery compliments this spectacular area.
Apart from being home to some of the oldest rocks and first life forms on the planet, Barberton has a rich cultural background with gold pioneering history and Swazi pastoralists playing a major part.
Situated in the De Kaap Valley, Barbeton is surrounded by the Mokhonjwa Mountains . This historic town is the centre of the Wild Frontier, one of seven main tourism regions in the country. At 877m above sea level the town and surrounding area is malaria free. The Barberton Mountains are known as one of the few areas in South Africa with stunning scenery and the area has had the least human intervention of anywhere in South Africa.
Barberton was proclaimed as a town in 1884, this was largely due to the discovery of some of the world's most profitable goldmines among the surrounding mountains. Gold is still mined in the Barberton area today and the town can also boast the oldest gold and silver deposits in the world.
The first gold was discovered in Barberton on 20 June 1883 by Auguste Roberts and this led to the establishment of the very first South African Stock Exchange in the town; the remains of which can still be seen today. Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his dog Jock are some of the towns famous names, the famous 'Jock of the Bushveld' stories were set in the areas surrounding Barberton, and a statue of Jock can still be seen the town.
The Barberton Mountains are home to some of the oldest uncovered rocks on the planet. Some of the earliest and most interesting rocks have been dated and these 3.5 billion year old volcanic rocks, which scientists call the Barberton Greenstone Belt, have given direct evidence of environment of life on the surface of the early earth.
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